Thursday Roundup

Today’s video is a companion to last week’s, taking another look at the Jehovah’s Witness view of Jesus as merely an exalted angel. I explain a second argument for the divinity of Christ, based on the New Testament assertion that he received worship. The Answers for Ambassadors podcast is the first of a few episodes which will consider Richard Dawkins’ arguments against the trustworthiness of the Bible, and the links of the week include an excellent response to Jen Hatmaker’s comments on LGBT relationships, a look at the historical illiteracy of American college students, thoughts on the age gap in evangelical support for Trump, and some helpful information about the conflict over the Dakota Access pipeline.

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“We discover a striking proof of the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures. In the Bible human nature is painted in its true colors: the characters of its heroes are faithfully depicted, the sins of its most prominent personages are frankly recorded. It is human to err, but it is also human to conceal the blemishes of those we admire. Had the Bible been a human production, had it been written by uninspired historians, the defects of its leading characters would have been ignored, or if recorded at all, an attempt at extenuation would have been made.”
~ A.W. Pink

Latest Video

Last week’s video on the correct translation of John 1:1 has received a lot of interest, so I decided to look at another piece of evidence against the Jehovah’s Witness position that Jesus was an exalted angel, but not God. Jehovah’s Witnesses agree that only God should receive worship, so they believe Jesus should not be worshiped and argue that New Testament verses which seem to describe him being worshiped are translated incorrectly. I’m afraid we have to dig into a bit of Greek again, but this time it’s just one word: proskuneó. It can mean either “to worship” or “to do obeisance” (i.e. to bow respectfully). Is there any way to tell which is happening when the Bible tells us Jesus received proskuneó? You’ll just have to watch to find out…

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Answers for Ambassadors Podcast

Can we trust what the Bible says? In Chapter 3 of The God Delusion, Dawkins argues we can’t. It will take a few episodes to fully respond, but this podcast gets the ball rolling by surveying the reasons why we believe the Bible is true, responding to Dawkins’ criticism of the “Christological Trilemma,” and considering whether the authors of the Gospels were trying to write accurate history.

Answers for Ambassadors is available via SoundCloud or by searching in iTunes and most other podcast players. You can also direct your podcast player to the podcast RSS feed.

Best Reads of the Week

John Piper has a thoughtful, balanced, and gracious response to Pastor Andy Stanley’s much-discussed recent sermon arguing that Christians should rely less on the inherent authority of Scripture in evangelism. Stanley argued it is more effective to focus on the Bible’s individual authors and their historical credibility, rather than relying on “the Bible says” arguments. Piper’s response is lengthy but worth reading in its entirety.

And while we’re on the topic of excellent responses to controversial statements, Rosario Butterfield has written a compelling and beautiful article about Christian author Jen Hatmaker’s assertion in a recent interview that LGBT relationships can be “holy.” She replies, “Today, I hear Jen’s words—words meant to encourage, not discourage, to build up, not tear down, to defend the marginalized, not broker unearned power—and a thin trickle of sweat creeps down my back. If I were still in the thick of the battle over the indwelling sin of lesbian desire, Jen’s words would have put a millstone around my neck.”

Speaking of LGBT issues, “toleration” laws are being used to choke freedom of religion and freedom of conscience around the world. In England, a court has ruled that Ashers Baking Company engaged in illegal discrimination for refusing to decorate a cake with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage.” In Canada, psychology professor Jordan Peterson has been ordered by the University of Toronto to stop objecting to the use of “transgender pronouns” like zie and hir. Just a reminder: Law follows culture. We’re losing this battle at the legal level because we lost it at the cultural level, and change is going to have to start there.

Thought-provoking observations about the age gap in evangelical support for Donald Trump. Even if you aren’t a #NeverTrumper like David French, his point is still worth considering.

A college professor describes discovering that the vast majority of his students were under the impression that America invented slavery. “They came to college without the basic rudiments of American history or Western culture and their reading level was pretty low.”

The Syrian civil war is effectively over, and Russia has won.

The conflict over the Dakota Access pipeline is spilling over into national news, and misinformation is spilling along with it. Based on my reading about the issue, I believe this article accurately describes the situation, which is more about leftist opposition to petroleum-based energy than any legitimate grievance done to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. This piece explains the implications for rule of law if Dakota Access is blocked at this late stage after playing by the rules and meeting all requisite rules and regulations, including multiple studies on the environmental and cultural impact of the proposed pipeline.

Something wrong with your church? Okay, what can you do differently? Nicholas Batzig writes that we need to be the change we want to see in our churches.

Stuff I Like (Affiliate Link)

If you need a comfortable, low-profile gardening glove, I have been very pleased with these water-resistant nylon gloves with rubberized palms. They aren’t suited for heavy work, but I’ve found them to be surprisingly sturdy for weeding and similar tasks. There is a women’s version too, through it’s a bit more expensive.

And remember, anytime you start shopping on Amazon.com by clicking through this affiliate link, you’ll be helping to support my work at no extra cost to yourself. If you bookmark the page that opens after you click the affiliate link, you can use that bookmark each time you shop!

Photo of the Week

Pebbles on a NC beach

I captured this shot as a hurricane rolled past the North Carolina Outer Banks in June 2013. My wife and I were staying with family on the islands shortly after we married and we decided to brave the high winds and whipping sand for a lengthy walk on the beach. The weather was harshly beautiful and produced a number of striking photos, including this one of sand carved away by the wind except where it was shielded by little shell fragments.

(Check out other photos at my Etsy shop.)

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